Sunday, August 05, 2018

Lee Pitts: Papered People

There's a distinct difference between commercial cattlemen and those who raise registered cattle. The biggest contrast is purebred people dress differently and use after shave. Go to a fancy hotel at the same time purebred breeders are holding their annual convention and you won't know if you're at a Fortune 500 shareholders meeting, a banker's confab, a slot tournament or a gambler's anonymous retreat. If you go to a cowboy convention you'll know it immediately when you're locked up in a hotel elevator and detect a musty, cowy smell.
Purebred breeders are less apt to wear cowboy hats. Either they have enough hair to go hatless or they wear a ball cap with the name of a famous bull you never heard of sewn on it. While some breeders can look good in a cowboy hat you rarely see a Stetson in photos of the Angus Board of Directors. I can only assume they have a dress code. Purebred breeders can also be recognized by their feet. Often they wear wingtips, soft shoes or footwear more often seen on a yacht. Purebred sale managers especially seem to eschew cowboy hats and boots.
Registered breeders are more into technology and keep records on their cell phones, whereas a commercial cattlemen keeps his info in a tally book, on a market card or a barn door. Papered people write with a pen, regular ranchers with a pencil. Registered breeders LOVE data and use a spreadsheet to find their best cattle. Regular ranchers can tell just by looking. Purebred people often look like they're talking to themselves but they're just talking to someone called Bluetooth. (I don't know who this Bluetooth person is.) Purebred cattlemen usually tweet, have the newest I phone with an irritating ring tone, and a Facebook page. Commercial cattlemen have an old flip phone that doesn't work WELL because it's been dropped down one too many times.
Purebred people drive newer Yukons, Tahoes or Expeditions that they write off and use for showing guests their herd. Regular ranchers more often drive a Dodge Ram, Chevy 1500 or F 250. The year of their truck coincides with the last good market. Purebred breeders drive golf carts while unregistered ranchers drive ATV's and Quarter Horses. A rope dangles from their saddle. If a purebred breeder catches his hired-hand roping the registered stock he'll soon be unemployed.

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